"She's misunderstood," says Glaiza de Castro when asked about Pirena, the feisty sang'gre in the Encantadia remake. Blame it on Sailor Mars or her searing stare, but she's set out to create a #GirlBoss out of Pirena that you won't help but love, and possibly, equally hate. Read on to find out why her role in this fantaserye is her most challenging yet.
Since you're playing a sang'gre, do you have a favorite superhero or a fictional character with powers?
I’d say Sailor Moon has big influence on me, especially Sailor Mars. I posted a Sailor Mars transformation sequence on my Instagram, and I guess when I was a kid I wanted to be like her kasi parang ang feisty niya. Out of all of the Sailormoon characters, she's the one with the most personality. Parang there’s always a mystery in her.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I want to teleport, since I really like to travel. Parang ang sarap lang ng feeling na in one second nasa ibang place ka na. Lalo na dito sa Pilipinas sobrang traffic, parang you would want to teleport and go to your next appointment or destination right away.
If you could play any other sang’gre, who would it be?
Baka si Amihan. Strong ng personality din ni Amihan, hindi nga lang siya as imposing as Pirena. Kasi si Pirena, based on her element, which is fire—she has a lot of passion and anger. Pero si Amihan, she's calm on the outside, but she's pretty powerful, too.
What's your favorite thing about your costume?
Hindi masyadong revealing! (Laughs) As actors, isa sa mga bagay na nape-pressure kami is to fit perfectly dun sa mga costumes namin. You also have to maintain your physique. So Direk Mark sent us a message that read “NO CAKES”, “NO RICE”, “NO ICE CREAM” all in capital letters! We were all like, “Ugh! That’s so sad!”
I've never physically prepared or trained so much for a role, ever. Encantadia challenged us to be a warrior. We have to really push ourselves to the limit or step out of our comfort zone. But back to the costumes, it's like we're in an RPG! We get upgrades like veils or capes when we learn a new ability, or sa ibang fight scenes iba 'yung costume namin. Hindi ka magsasawa.
What do you like about Pirena?
In a way nakaka-relate ako sa kanya. Because when she really wants something, she’ll do everything to get it. Ang down side lang ni Pirena, she doesn’t care about other people. Kung makasakit man siya or hindi. That’s one thing I admire about her, focus siya sa isang bagay na gusto niyang mangyari. And she’s really also very strong and wise. Palagi niyang ginagamit yung utak niya when it comes to making decisions.
Read more about Glaiza in our July issue here.
Main image photographed by Koji Arboleda